A man feed birds as they fly by in the Creek area of Karachi, Pakistan. (Photographer: Asim Hafeez/Bloomberg)

Pakistan Says Not Concerned Over India’s Decision To Stop Flow Of Water 

Pakistan is not concerned about India’s plan to stop the flow of its share of water from the Ravi, Sutlej and Beas rivers under the Indus Waters Treaty, a top official said.

The response came hours after Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari said that India has decided to "stop" the flow of its share of water to Pakistan from rivers under the Indus Waters Treaty after the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed.

Talking to Dawn newspaper on Thursday, secretary of Pakistan's Ministry of Water Resources Khawaja Shumail said, “We have neither concern nor objection if India diverts water of eastern rivers and supplies it to its people or uses it for other purposes, as the IWT allows it to do so.”

He said Pakistan did not see Gadkari's statement as worrisome in context with the IWT.

If India wants to use this water “whether through storing it, through construction of this dam or any other way for their people, they can do as we have nothing to do with it”, added Shumail.

But we will definitely express our concerns and raise objections strongly if they use or divert waters of western rivers (Chenab, Indus, Jhelum) on which our right to use prevails.
Khawaja Shumail, Water Resources Secretary, Pakistan

Also read: Pulwama – Avoiding The Tactical Trap

The reiteration to stop the flow of Indus water to Pakistan comes amid mounting tensions between India and Pakistan over the Pulwama terror strike. India has already decided to revoke the Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan and mounted a diplomatic offensive to isolate it in the international community.

There were demands to stop flow of India's share of Indus water to Pakistan after the Uri terror attack in 2016. Under the Indus Water Treaty signed in 1960, the waters of the western rivers -- the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab -- was given to Pakistan and those of the eastern rivers -- the Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej -- to India.

Also read: Bias And Hatred After Pulwama: Is India’s Social Fabric Under Threat?